Friday, May 27, 2016

Yankees Release Slade Heathcott

I hope I'm at least fashionably late to this party...


Last night we learned that the Yankees released Slade Heathcott. No, they didn't designate Slade for assignment, they outright released him.

It was speculated by many that the Yankees gave Heathcott his unconditional release to make it easier for them to re-sign him to a new minor league deal, like they have in the past. Had the Yanks DFA'd Slade, he surely would have been claimed by another team, and therefore he'd only come back to the Yankees if that other team returned him.

However, according Chad Jennings, that is not the case. The Yankees have let Slade go, and as of right now they have no intentions of bringing him back into the organization.

This news came as quite a surprise to me, seeing as how it wasn't long ago that Heathcott was considered one of the Yankees' top prospects. Mind you, he was never at the Aaron Judge/Jorge Mateo/Luis Severino level of prospect, but many fans had high hopes for the Yankees top pick of the 2009 Amateur Draft.

Unfortunately, Slade has yet to live up to those high hopes. Multiple surgeries to both his shoulder and knee has led to a lot of missed developmental time. In fact, Heathcott has only played in 302 games since 2012. His batting line of .257/.303/.334 in 368 plate appearances for AAA Scranton didn't excite anybody, either.

Another thing to consider is the organizational depth in the outfield. Along with Aaron Hicks, the Yankees have Mason Williams, Dustin Fowler, and Aaron Judge waiting in the wings. Not to mention that Brett Gardner may be around through 2019, and Jacoby Ellsbury's contract could go through 2021 (both have club options for the aforementioned seasons).

I know I'm not alone in wishing Slade Heathcott the best of luck in the future. Just as long as he's not hurting the Yankees. ;)

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